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Bizarre story from Vermont, where bar owner Wayne Ryan is suing the police department over an incident last June.

Seems that two undercover police officers tried to enter the bar to check the IDs of a patrons in a sting on underage drinkers. Problem is, one of the officers himself forgot to bring ID, and was consequently denied admittance to the bar. Ryan eventually allowed the office in after confirming his identity with a superior (who threatened to shut the place down). Five days later, the police returned to arrest Ryan for impeding a police officer. The charge was eventually dismissed.

Ryan says the entire operation was retaliation for critical comments he made about the local police at a town council meeting.

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  1. Just want to throw this out there again: My shoulder is sore from a trap/skeet thing I went to last night, and it reminds me: Prepare, folks. The revolution cometh.

  2. Imagine a private business harassing customers like the monopoly police do. Recently the Conservative Supreme Court says they are “professional” so the no knock warrant is ok.

    Privatize the Cops!

  3. I have to say that is a devilishly clever little scheme from the local PD.

    If he lets the cop in, you arrest him for failing to check IDs. If he doesn’t let the cop in, you arrest him for obstruction. Brilliant.

  4. Did the cops find anybody with a “McLovin” driver’s license?

  5. The estimated population, in 2003, was 3,086.

    How can anyone be undercover? Wouldn’t everybody just say, “Hey, Farva, how’s it goin’?”

    Was maple syrup involved?

    These shenanigans are not cheeky and fun.

  6. I only wish this story was bizarre. It sounds all too common, with police exercising a personal vendetta and finding a way to arrest a person no matter what they do. The bizarre part would be if there was any actual underage drinking going on at the bar.

  7. Good thing that town has its own police force, and that they have plenty to do.

    I was very happy growing up in a small New England town with no police (only the occasional drive through by state police).

  8. The revolution cometh

    In your dreams, my friend. And if the Night of the Long Knives does rear it’s ugly head, not only will you and I be on the wrong side of the barricades, I’m willing to bet that what comes after will be worse than what we have now.

    To whatever extent the culture of freedom, self-reliance, and minimal intrusion by the state existed, it does not exist AT ALL any longer.

    Besides, the pork has all the cool guns and armored vehicles.

  9. Oh, I believe this is what Clint Bolick identifies as Grassroots Tyranny.

    Great book, BTW

    The other day I sent a harsh email to my county supe for wasting tax dollars sending a Sheriff’s task force door to door checking local businesses for proper licenses, permits, sales tax permits, and worker’s comp insurance. Especially galling in a county where half the time 911 puts you on hold or you get a busy signal and you know the cops ain’t coming anyway.

    Naturally, I used my throwaway email address. Just as naturally, the supervisor’s helper wanted me to identify myself so we could have a dialogue. Which in English means: Code Enforcement would do the dialogueing at my house.

    Just cuz yer not paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you regards, TWC

  10. Its funny that in a different case, the cops might threaten to bring in a civilian for using the same excuse of not having ID on them.

  11. TWC, you lack-of-imagination-having killjoy. Sigh…

    I do think one thing that would prevent an actual police state is that there are almost as many guns as people in this country.

  12. I do think one thing that would prevent an actual police state is that there are almost as many guns as people in this country.

    So there’s a reason for the 2nd Amendment? Go figure. Somebody inform the Supreme Court before they decide the DC case.

  13. My shoulder is sore from a trap/skeet thing I went to last night, and it reminds me: Prepare, folks. The revolution cometh.

    Maybe you could just try putting some ice on it first.

  14. “Besides, the pork has all the cool guns and armored vehicles.”

    Shotgun loaded with 000 buckshot will deliver a hell of a punch, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing the right thing.

  15. joe, for shotgun shoulder I go by the acronym RIPE: Rest, Ice, Prepare, Execute.

  16. In a display of gross, personal incompetance, a police officer forgets his ID and blames somebody else for having his work slowed down.

    This is yet another reason we should be able to bring civil suits against solitary police officers. The taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for incompetance.

  17. Hey, that’s the town where I saw Star Wars & Empire Strikes Back when I was a wee bairn!

    My local knowledge is a few decades out of date, but as I remember, the local PD were pigs. They took up space, consumed tax dollars, and were generally unhelpful. When my grandparents’ house was broken into and burglarized, the police made things worse. The sheriff and his men swarmed through the house touching stuff and ruining any chance of lifting usable fingerprints. They walked through the footprints of the burlgar in the sand, obliterating them, and then, to add to the injury, the sheriff made off with a substantial amount of table-ware and towels, claiming that he needed them for “evidence”. My Grandmother was livid, since the thieves hadn’t taken any of the tableware or the towels.

    We never saw the stuff again. BTW, the burglars continued to loot and pillage with minimal police interference until they got drunk and drove up the stem of a T intersection at 50 miles an hour and smeared themselves across a few trees. Then the crime wave ended, and the police took credit – I presume because unlike all the other single-car accidents in that intersection that one was the government’s fault.

  18. Wow, tarran, those guys sound downright…typical.

  19. IDs?? We Don’t Need No Stinking IDs!!

    – The Treasure of Bellows Falls

  20. Equally interesting H&R Topic would be the origin of the name for “BELLOWS FALLS”

  21. 76 at 2:00pm I guess answered, if only as speculation, what an officer is doing on duty without ID. You’d think he’d want it for multiple purposes, not least among which would be to assist medics and hospital staff in case he’s wounded. Or maybe he has to drive somewhere, or maybe a citizen will want reassurance that he is indeed a cop… But perhaps rules are different for such undercover “work”.

  22. Kick to balls.
    Bellows. Falls.

  23. Man hit in groin by football.

    BTW, C’mon people! This is a post about cops in Vermont ineptly running amok. Okay, meow. Do you know why I pulled you over?

  24. LibertyPlease | August 17, 2007, 1:41pm | #

    “Besides, the pork has all the cool guns and armored vehicles.”

    Shotgun loaded with 000 buckshot will deliver a hell of a punch, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing the right thing.

    Preferably out of a converted Saiga with some spare 10 round magazines.

  25. There’s no tyranny like local tyranny. It comes from requiring very small constituencies to stay in power, and no one caring.

    At least Congressfolk have to appeal to hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people.

  26. Darn, I had guessed that the article was going to be about Burlington. I suppose that Bellows Falls is near enough that it counts…

    Vermont- proof that socialism works, just look at our economy

    p.s. Despite having thousands of movies the UVM media center does not have Super Troopers… wtf?

  27. “Preferably out of a converted Saiga with some spare 10 round magazines”

    Hmmmm… I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime, vote Hillary! Let’s get this over with!

  28. I do think one thing that would prevent an actual police state is that there are almost as many guns as people in this country.

    So there’s a reason for the 2nd Amendment? Go figure. Somebody inform the Supreme Court before they decide the DC case.

    For this particular SC, I’d say that’s a bug, not a feature.

  29. For the Wine Commonsewer,
    Why do you think the military will back up the politicians? I see no logical linkage for this conclusion.

  30. 45-7-302. Obstructing peace officer or other public servant.
    (1) A person commits the offense of obstructing a peace officer or public servant if the person knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the enforcement of the criminal law, the preservation of the peace, or the performance of a governmental function, including service of process.
    (2) It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the peace officer was acting in an illegal manner, provided that the peace officer was acting under the peace officer’s official authority.

  31. I’m confused about what the cops WANTED to do.

    They were there undercover to check ID’s? Shouldn’t they have been in uniform for that job?

    I don’t know about you, but if a guy in civies walks up, says he’s a cop and demands to see my DL and won’t show me his ID, I’m going to tell him no because he’s impersonating a police officer and is probably there to rob and kill us. If he flashes a badge and his police ID, MAYBE I will, but first I’d talk to the bartender to ask what the hell?

    Years ago at UCLA I was getting into by car when a smelly guy in “homeless” clothes flashed a badge and demanded my handicapped placard registration. I asked for his ID, he said “Dis badge all I need.” I had my legally carried glock cleared and pointed at him through the door, out of his sight, before I told him that if he didn’t have ID I would assume he was fake. About that time his partner, in uniform with radio, showed up. It seems they have a “special enforcement” program with civilians, issued badges, just for handicapped plackard enforcement. The boy never knew how close he was to being shot.

  32. Overstepping authority to make a point.

    Where have we heard this before?

    Now imagine what those cops would have done if you had taken their pictures?

    Or video??

  33. Two comments up Montana Code makes a chilling observation. Folks, stop bitching and go lay populist siege to your legislature to change the laws. Why are you carping when you have options? Bad laws get written by popular pressure; bad laws are reformed by populist pressure. It ain’t brain surgery and it ain’t all that hard.

    And to the Vermont barkeep, godspeed, sir, and sue them into fucking oblivion.

  34. It is time to put the police and law abiding citizens on equal footing. By allowing law abiding citizens to carry assault rifles and machine guns openly in public not only will citizens be able to help those in need (stopping muggings, hold ups, rapes in progress and murders, and also homeless population reduction operations) but the civilians will be able to fight against corrupt police on equal terms.

  35. I do think one thing that would prevent an actual police state is that there are almost as many guns as people in this country.

    I know of several people who have small armories and enough bullets to stand off the entire Canadian Military. It is surprising as well that several of these people claim they would never surrender their guns, choosing to go out in a hail of bullets.

  36. Island Pond in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is known as one of the five worst speed traps in the country. The local constable makes it his business to pull over out of town folks for the slightest infraction and charge fine big enought to make a Califonia (or Massachusetts) cop blush.

    We’ve forgotten that Government is often more evil, because it has the power and we don’t. VOTE LIBERTARIAN

  37. For some time I have refrained form posting anti law enforcement diatribes, but when cops do this sort of arrogant, “we’re above the law” crap my self restraint weakens. I might actaully post FUCK THE POLICE! or something like that.

    Just sayin’, it could happen.

  38. Ohio is an “Open Carry” state. According to the state constitution, any weapon may be carried if openly displayed. In 1977 for example, I carried a shotgun two blocks down a busy sidewalk from my car to the Western Auto store to get a recoil pad fitted. No one I passed fainted, or called the cops, or ran for cover, or even looked askance.
    A passing Ravenna police car did not stop. When I walked into the store, the clerks did not dive for the floor, or pull their own weapons. Even though the law remains the same, I wonder how far I’d get today.

  39. The only solution to this is to strip police of their immunity from the law when they violate someone’s rights. This immunity comes from state constitutions, so at least in states that have the initiative process it should be possible to do.

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